uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
To Make Do in the City: Social Identities and Cultural Transformations among Aymara Speakers in La Paz
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study deals with cultural transformations and negotiations of social identity among urban Aymara speakers (bilingual Spanish-Aymara) in the city of La Paz in Bolivia in the last decade of the twentieth century. The main question concerns how they experience and express their sense of belonging in relation to their subordinated roles in society and the new spaces that are opened up by the democratization process. This question is dealt with through the study of social strategies of survival, for a better life and social mobility. The study also discusses how people use and contest traditional social and cultural ideals when dealing with and organizing everyday problems and activities.

Theoretical perspectives on identity formation in relation to migration could be located on a continuum in terms of the emphasis that is placed on adaptation, on the one hand, and cultural continuity, on the other. This study shows that migrants do not conceptualize moving to the city as a big rupture but rather as a gradual process. Even if migration is part of a striving for social mobility, the migrants do not aspire to assimilate into the cultural context of the elite, but rather to advance within their own real and imagined community. In the urban setting, people form identities that combine or balance various points of reference, of which the most important are the citizenship in the state (class identity) and the membership in the Aymara community (ethnic identity). While people use rural practices and traditions as models for many of their activities and preoccupations, these are constantly contested and negotiated. People make their choices of strategies from a marginalized and subordinated position within the socio-economic and political structure of the city and the country. In the city all inhabitants, irrespective of background, are part of a cultural context in which different values and cultural models are constantly confronted and negotiated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2003. , 262 p.
Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology, ISSN 0348-5099 ; 36
Keyword [en]
Cultural anthropology, Bolivia, Aymara, migrants, urban community, emplacement, identity, gender, social change
Keyword [sv]
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3863ISBN: 91-554-5791-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3863DiVA: diva2:163789
Public defence
2003-12-12, 1022, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Trädgårdsgatan 18, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 2003-11-20 Created: 2003-11-20Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text
Buy this publication >>

By organisation
Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 1241 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link